Help Itasca nature center continue to grow

  • A celebration this weekend at Springbrook Nature Center will help raise extra money for planned improvements to the Itasca facility.

    A celebration this weekend at Springbrook Nature Center will help raise extra money for planned improvements to the Itasca facility. Daily Herald file photo

Posted9/16/2014 9:49 AM

Residents will be able to enjoy Springbrook Nature Center this weekend while doing their part to make the Itasca facility better.

A fundraiser -- called Springbrook Celebration -- is scheduled for 3:30 to 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 20, at the nature center, 130 Forest Ave., Itasca. There will be nature walks, creek walks, music, crafts, s'mores, games and beer and wine tastings. Hot dogs and brats will be available for purchase.


The event, sponsored by the Itasca Park District and the Friends of Springbrook group, will help raise extra money for a renovation of the nature center.

The park district, which oversees programming for the village-owned center, is planning to spend about $487,500 to create new exhibits and make building improvements. Most of the money for the project is coming from a $335,000 grant the park district was awarded by the state.

Still, the district is hoping to raise extra money for exhibits that will house various animals, including tarantulas and snakes.

"We already have the main money that is required for the project, thanks to the grant and the village and park district donating money," said Beth Rodriguez, park district spokeswoman. "But you could always add to the exhibits. We're just trying to raise additional funds for the exhibits."

By having a fundraiser, Rodriguez said organizers are giving residents the opportunity to contribute.

"We want to show everyone what's going to be possible with this project," she said.

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A highlight of Saturday's festivities will be a duck race. Rubber ducks will be dumped into Springbrook Creek to slowly float toward a finish line. Numbered ducks pulled from the water will earn prizes for the people who sponsored them.

Duck raffle prizes include a 2015 family season pass for Itasca's water park and a one-year membership to the fitness center.

Each person who attends the celebration will get one duck for the raffle. Additional ducks can be purchased for $10 each or $25 for three.

Admission tickets for the event cost $15 for adults and $10 for children if bought in advance. Tickets purchased on the day of the event will cost $18 for adults and $12 for children.

To register, visit the Itasca Recreation & Fitness Center, 350 E. Irving Park Road. The preregistration period ends Friday, Sept. 19.

For details, call (630) 773-2257.

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